Improving medical students

How to Write a Personal Statement

Posted by medliorator on October 20, 2008

Jessica Freedman, MD:

  • Start with something catchy to engage your reader. The first one or two sentences are pivotal. If the opening of your essay bores your reader, he or she may stop reading.
  • End with a strong conclusion to leave a lasting impression.
  • Do not use cliché phrases such as “I like internal medicine because I enjoy working with patients.”
  • In general, it is better to “show” through example or anecdote rather than “tell.” Instead of writing “I am empathetic and hard working,” illustrate with examples how you have demonstrated these qualities.
  • With every paragraph, ask yourself if someone else could have written it and, if the answer is yes, go back and make the paragraph more distinctive.
  • Do not regurgitate your CV or write about something that can be read elsewhere in your application.
  • Do not repeat yourself. With each sentence, ask yourself, “Have I already said that?” If the answer is yes, hit delete.
  • Use an active rather than a passive voice.
  • Your essay should be authentic.

Getting Into Residency: Part 1 [Student Doctor Network]

One Response to “How to Write a Personal Statement”

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